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Posted March 16, 2015

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APS Board Chooses Two Students for State Award

The New Mexico School Boards Association's Excellence in Student Achievement Award recognizes students for their efforts to enhance student achievement.

The APS Board of Education has chosen two students -- one middle school and one high school -- for the New Mexico School Boards Association’s Excellence in Student Achievement Award.

Daniella Moskola, an 8th grader at Eisenhower Mid-School, and Emmalee Johnston, a senior at Volcano Vista High School, were selected for their efforts to improve student achievement, either for themselves or for others at their school.

In nominating her for the award, Eisenhower teachers and administrators praised Moskola’s strong work ethic, character and high integrity. “Her positive attitude is contagious and influences others to do their best,” they wrote. “She is kind and caring, and her friendly smile welcomes everyone.”

Captain of her soccer team, Moskola also likes to read, write and is in the drama club. She mentors sixth grade students, participated in the jumpstart day for sixth graders and helped put on a dance for them.

Johnston also helps mentor younger students in her AP world history class. “She patiently guides the frustrated (and often frightened) and confused students to eventual academic success,” her nominators wrote. “Often, she takes time outside of class to tutor and assist sophomores through the rigors of proper scholarly methods.”

Active in the school’s theater group and cheerleading, Johnson also volunteers at the Explora children’s museum and the Watermelon Mountain Ranch, a no-kill animal shelter in Rio Rancho.

The winners were chosen from a group of nine students—four middle school and five high school—who were screened by a group of community volunteers from a field of 63 students nominated by their schools. Serving on the screening committee were Tom Burson, executive vice-president of Sound and Signal NM; Ian Esquibel, executive director of Learning Alliance New Mexico; Mike Leppala, an administrative law judge with the NM Department of Workforce Solutions; and Jim Lujan, a senior account executive with TIG.


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